A new range dubbed Malt Shovel Brewers gives the James Squire brewing team the freedom to experiment with a more eclectic range of beer styles.
Malt Shovel Brewers fills the void left by the old Mad Brewers range, which finished up in early 2014, Malt Shovel head brewer Chris Sheehan told Australian Brews News.
“The brewers here at Malt Shovel want to experiment and have fun beyond the boundaries of what we’d typically do with James Squire,” he said.
“Our James Squire beers are typically for the beer drinkers starting their craft journey… which is perfectly ok.
“Malt Shovel Brewers is our play at the next step beyond. Something a little different, not necessarily ‘bigger’ however an eye opener all the same,” said Sheehan.
The Malt Shovel beers will be keg-only limited releases, with a low key approach to marketing.
They will be available firstly at venues in Sydney’s Inner West before being rolled out to James Squire brewhouses nationally.
Hoppy Hefe makes a comeback
The first release reprises an old favourite from the Mad Brewers range, Hoppy Hefe, which was first available in early 2012.
“Whilst the name was always meant to be contradictory, it is not really a Hefe. It’s part wheat ale and part wheat wine,” Sheehan said.
“On top of the wheat malt there’s Pale and Munich, with a big slug of Citra and Motueka hops. Its slightly higher body balances well with its big aroma and bitterness finishing with a decent seven per cent alcohol finish.
“It’s dry on the palate with good length from the wheat. Hopefully those that liked it previously enjoy it again, as well as anyone out there who missed it a few years back,” he said.
Inner West publicans were first to try the beer at the brewery last Friday and Sheehan said the feedback had been very positive.
“It’s moving real quick, so we’re going to do another brew and push it wider,” he said.
The next beer in the series is scheduled for December and Sheehan suggested there may be collaborations with fellow Inner West breweries at some point in the future.
“We want to celebrate the industry we work in and also remind people that we’re still here after nearly 30 years,” he said.
“Since the Malt Shovel Brewery was birthplace of Hahn as well as Squires, a lot of magic and success has come from within these walls.”